I’ve long known that people in the book community are amazing, but talking to a group of bookstagram pros showed me just how amazing they really are.

Bookstagram — for “book Instagram” — is a community of book lovers who come together on Instagram to showcase their love of the written word and storytelling through books. It’s a fascinating world, one I briefly tried to join (#selfieswithbooks was my “thing”), but ultimately I don’t have the artistic flourish to really be good at it.

There are those who are just amazing, though. I follow one person, @ursula_uriarte, who has almost 80k followers, a streamlined aesthetic, and an ability to take artistic photos of books that just blows my mind. 

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No spoilers here because I wouldn't do that to anyone, also I'm not done Im about 200 pages in so I'm close to 1/2 way but not quite there but so far I can only say this book is fantastic. . – ? Ninth House is like nothing I've ever read, the setting, the plot, the characters they are all incredibly crafted and like I said Im not even half way through yet. . – ? There have been a few scenes that I found absolutely terrifying, like nightmare inducing terrifying, & I can confirm this because I had the nightmares lol. Thanks @lbardugo ?? This book is… how do I say it? Messed up… but in the best way, it has its claws in me so deep that I'm counting the minutes to be done with work to jump right back in. . – ? Alex is like no other character Leigh has ever written, not even close, this story is like nothing she has ever written in general, the writing is different and magnificent, some of the scenes are so brilliantly described that the visuals of what's happening are just overwhelming, as if you were standing right there observing everything go down.  Im not gonna give you the talk about how this book is not YA, but be prepared to deal with some heavy ass situations.  At one point I had to stop for a few minutes to gather myself, but yet I didnt wait too long to keep on going . – ? I will review Ninth House once Im done reading it but I had to talk about it because otherwise I was gong to spontaneously combust!  Needless to say if you haven't pre-ordered this book you need to get on that like yesterday! . – ? Have any of you guys read an arc of this? Let me know what you thought but please no spoilers. #NinthHouse #upcomingrelease #TBR

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Bookstagrammers, as they’re called, are fun to follow if you’re into reading because not only is it thrilling to see your favorite books showcased on someone’s feed, but sometimes you get recommendations for the best books. 

Amanda Gray Williams, whose bookstagram handle is @inagrayarea, said she started her bookstagram a few years back when “I didn’t have a lot of IRL friends who were big readers, and I thought it would be a great place to share my recommendations and just get to talk about books.

“The biggest draw now is that there is a built-in community, and it feels like a really safe space,” Williams added.

Karissa Riffel, of @karissariffel.books, said she loves the community; in fact, the great community completely changed her experience on bookstagram from when she first joined.

“I started out wanting to reach people who would be future readers of my books,” Riffel said, “but I found such a positive and vibrant community that, instead of a means to an end, my Bookstagram has become an end in and of itself.”

The sentiment about bookstagram’s community was echoed by Bree Buonomo of @livinginabookishfantasy, who said she made a friend she speaks with almost daily who lives in Puerto Rico, whom she never would have met without this medium.

Buonomo also noted there are some fun perks that come with being a bookstagrammer, “like receiving advanced reader copies (ARCs) of upcoming novels, getting requests to beta read, and receiving products to review, which I’ve loved doing each time the opportunity has been given!”

Bookstagram is fun to follow because it’s just cool to be surrounded by fellow book nerds, people who grew up and didn’t grow out of wanting to lose themselves into fictional worlds and don’t find it weird to love spending hours staring at an immobile piece of paper. 

One thing that’s always struck me about the platform is just everyone’s artistry on display. I’m a big believer that there are myriad ways to be artistic and each one is as valid as the next. Being artistic in a bookstagram way requires having an eye for what colors and patterns and props look good with a book, as well as taking time to make sure the picture comes out right.

That was always my downfall on bookstagram: I’m too impatient! I would snap a few photos and then get bored and just call it a day. This is why I don’t consider myself a bookstagrammer; I’m more of a dabbler.

Bookstagram is great for authors as well, as having photos of their books shared increases visibility about their work. 

Williams mentioned she loves to shout out books she’s adored, saying, “I have so many people message me about books they read because of my recommendations, and I can’t think of anything better!”

Ultimately bookstagram is about community and about celebrating books, something I, as an avid reader and aspiring author, think we can never have enough of in the world.

  • Karis Rogerson

    Karis Rogerson is a writer and blogger in New York City. Raised in Italy and schooled in Germany and Kentucky, she proudly (and sometimes fluently) speaks 2.5 languages. Karis writes about books, interviews authors and cabaret artists, and explores topics of mental illness for various sites as well as her blog.